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Promoting Critical Thinking Skills in an Online EFL Environment

Yuya Akatsuka
  • : 범태평양 응용언어학회
  • : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 24권2호
  • : 연속간행물
  • : 2020년 12월
  • : 95-113(19pages)
Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL )

DOI

10.25256/PAAL.24.2.5


목차

1 Introduction
2 Literature Review
3 Research Method
4 Results and Discussions
5 Conclusion
References
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C

키워드 보기


초록 보기

This study examined the effects of an approach that promotes EFL learners’ critical thinking in an online EFL setting. Although recent studies have examined approaches to foster EFL learners’ critical thinking, studies conducted in online settings are under-development. The participants were 31 Japanese undergraduate students enrolled in an online EFL course; their degree of critical thinking and resistance towards critical thinking were examined. First, the students’ sense of classroom community was measured using the Rovai’s Classroom Community Scale. Second, the frequency of using critical thinking in their English writing was observed adopting with Stapleton’s rubric, and the resistance towards learning critical thinking was measured through a questionnaire. The results indicated that students could feel a sense of classroom community in online lessons as well as face-to-face settings, and improvements in critical thinking were found in students’ writing regardless of the differences in their English proficiency level. A resistance towards tackling questions that required higher-order thinking was observed among low English proficiency level students compared to a face-to-face classroom setting. This study suggests that an online EFL course aiming to promote critical thinking reduce students’ resistance offering both informal and formal interactive opportunities to answer questions involving higher-order thinking skills.

UCI(KEPA)

I410-ECN-0102-2022-700-000273066

간행물정보

  • : 어문학분야  > 언어학
  • : KCI등재
  • :
  • : 반년간
  • : 1345-8353
  • : 2671-938X
  • : 학술지
  • : 연속간행물
  • : 1998-2022
  • : 401


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The entrance exams to Japanese universities have long been criticised for creating negative “washback” on English education in high schools in Japan, as teachers have often focused their teaching efforts on teaching grammar to prepare students for these exams rather than helping students to develop competency in spoken English. Many government initiatives have attempted to reform English language education by encouraging a greater focus on speaking competency. This paper outlines the nature of the Japanese university entrance exam system, considers the phenomenon of washback, and critically reviews the body of empirical research related to washback in the Japanese context. A systematic review was conducted on articles published between 1993 and June, 2022. These articles were subjected to thematic analysis in which four broad categories were identified: learner behaviour; washback to teacher behaviour; affective factors; and washback specifically from the introduction of the listening test. Findings suggest that more empirical studies are required to understand the complex nature of washback from university entrance exams, and that future research is required to examine potential washback from four-skills testing and, in particular, from the inclusion of a speaking test.

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발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 26권 2호 발행 연도 : 2022 페이지 : pp. 21-48 (28 pages)

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Despite attention by educators and researchers to the advancement of robotics research in education, little experimental research has been conducted on the use of robots in language education for young children. This paper reports on a study aimed at providing an improved English language development assessment questionnaire specifically for use in a project to bring autonomous social robots into English as a foreign language (EFL) classes for native-Korean-speaking children aged 3-5 years old. In order to examine the validity of questionnaire items, a focus group of 10 professors with expertise in child EFL learning was sent the questionnaire, which includes 127 items to be rated on a 5-point Likert scale and two open-ended questions. They were asked to judge whether each item was appropriate for children of the target age group, and whether any items were not appropriate to assess child L2 learners' English language development. The findings inform the selection of appropriate items for evaluating language development stages based on children's speaking performance in a robot-assisted language learning condition. The study's results provide a baseline for an English language assessment questionnaire for EFL teachers to evaluate 3-5-year-old children's language development in English speaking in the robot-assisted language learning (RALL) condition.

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3Linguistic Features of Korean EFL Learners' Writing: Based on Writing Quality and Genre

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발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 26권 2호 발행 연도 : 2022 페이지 : pp. 49-64 (16 pages)

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The present study examines the linguistic features of Korean college students' English writings in terms of their writing quality and genre. Forty-eight Korean college students took part in the study, and their writing samples, comprised of narrative and exposition compositions, were collected to analyze on the basis of fluency and syntactic complexity. A total of 95 writings were entered into the computer program L2 syntactic complexity analyzer (L2SCA), and then statistical analyses such as ANOVA and t-test were performed to investigate how the linguistic features of the participants' English writings are different depending on their writing quality and genre. The results showed that participants' writing quality had a statistically significant impact on the text length of their writings, while it did not have a statistically significant effect on 13 measures out of 14 syntactic complexity measures. However, the results of genre differences indicated that the genre of writing had a substantial impact on 15 measures including fluency and syntactic complexity in the participants' writing. Based on the results, some implications on how English writing instruction can better help Korean learners develop their English writing skills are discussed in the end.

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4The Effects of a Triggering Instruction on Communication Strategy Transference

저자 : Noriko Aotani , Shin'ya Takahashi

발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 26권 2호 발행 연도 : 2022 페이지 : pp. 65-76 (12 pages)

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Research on communication strategies (CSs) has been drawing much attention in the area of psycholinguistics and applied linguistics. This study examined if triggering instruction can accelerate the cognitive aspects of CSs transference from L1 to L2. In the first part of the experiment, all participants, twenty-one Japanese university students, looked at pictures and were asked to say anything that came to their mind in English. In the second part, half of them (an experimental group) were instructed to begin the task by saying likes and dislikes of the picture. The other half (a control group) did not receive such an instruction. Participants also answered a questionnaire asking about self-evaluation of the task performance in order to examine their affective and cognitive state. Their utterances were classified as either objective descriptions of what was shown in the picture or subjective expressions of what they imagined or felt. The results of the experimental group clearly demonstrated the effect of instructional intervention; subjective expression increased and objective description decreased, and also their anxiety decreased from the first part of the experiment to the second. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the cognitive aspects of CSs such as change of viewpoint from objective to subjective, which we may call 'self-expression switching,' and its transference from L1.

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5Effects of Instruction on the Use of Discourse Markers in Japanese EFL Learners' Speech

저자 : Kazunari Shimada

발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 26권 2호 발행 연도 : 2022 페이지 : pp. 77-95 (19 pages)

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This study investigated the effects of explicit and implicit discourse marker (DM) instruction on English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' speech. Two different teaching methods were used over seven weeks of online English classes at a university in Japan. Participants were split into two groups, and in the first week, a pre-test comprising two speech tasks was administered to both groups. The groups were then given explicit or implicit feedback about the usage of target DMs using video clips and emails. The results of the post-test in Week 5 revealed that, although the frequency of the marker for example was significantly higher after explicit instruction, there was no significant difference in the frequency of the other target markers in both groups. However, some students' repertoires of DMs increased after explicit feedback. In Week 7, a speaking test including tasks similar to those in the pre- and post-tests was administered as a substitute for the delayed test. Although some easily accessible markers such as and and because were used in speech, both groups' repertoire was limited. Hence, explicit instruction on DMs may have a limited effect on EFL learners' speech.

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6A Comparative Study of Learner Satisfaction in Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Courses Among Japanese EFL Learners

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발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 26권 2호 발행 연도 : 2022 페이지 : pp. 97-120 (24 pages)

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This article reports on a mixed method study that investigated the differences in Japanese EFL (English as a foreign language) learners' satisfaction toward two different online teaching formats incorporated in universities during the COVID-19 situation: synchronous online courses (n = 324) and asynchronous on-demand courses (n = 323). Applying the items of the previously developed online satisfaction scale in the literature of online learning to EFL learning contexts, this study examined learner satisfaction from three main factors, engaged learning, agency, and assessment, as a quantitative inquiry. According to the Mann-Whitney U test, there were significantly higher results of engaged learning and assessment in synchronous online courses than in asynchronous ondemand courses, indicating a higher level of learner satisfaction in synchronous online courses. In addition, based on the qualitative textmining analysis of learner comments on their perceptions of the online courses they had taken, findings suggest that synchronous online courses accounted for higher percentages of positive comments compared to those in the asynchronous on-demand courses. This study shows that synchronous online teaching ensured higher satisfaction among Japanese EFL learners than asynchronous on-demand courses.

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China is a nation with linguistic and ethnic diversity. Putonghua, which translates to “common language” is the common spoken language in mainland China, also known as Standard Chinese historically and Mandarin Chinese in English, has been actively promoted for over half a century aiming at facilitating communication among people with different dialects across China. Under the nationwide promotion of standard Chinese since the State Council issued Instructions Concerning the Promotion of Putonghua in 1956 (Zhou & Sun, 2004), the linguistic ecology represented by the interaction among Putonghua and other dialects in urban contexts has changed dramatically. Based on the three dimensional language policy theory which includes the language ideology, the language practice and the language management (Spolsky, 2004), this study intends to investigate the family language ecology of 30 Chinese parents from 20 urban families with children aged three to seven years. Through analyzing the data collected from survey questionnaires and two interviews, the results indicate that the status of dialect has been marginalized consensually by parents within the family domain. Additionally, parents are shielding their children from dialect both consciously and unconsciously. This study concludes with a discussion of implications for future Family Language Policy (FLP) research within the distinctive Chinese context.

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발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 24권 2호 발행 연도 : 2020 페이지 : pp. 37-68 (32 pages)

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This study investigates the initial encounters of 30 Thai senior citizens and the four Thai musician-celebrity coaches in the blind auditions of “the Voice Senior Thailand season 1”. The analysis was drawn from studies on compliments, politeness, and face work. The analysis found that both overt-oriented and covert-oriented compliments were used extensively when the coaches evaluated the senior contestants' vocal performances. The use of such compliments exhibits the shift from a distant relationship to a closer one. The prominent use of covert-oriented compliments as face-maintenance and face-enhancing strategies and as distance-minimization or imposition-mitigation strategies (Blum-Kulka, 2005) suggests rapport management between the four coaches and the senior contestants. Such interconnectedness of the multidirectional functions of compliments in Thai as well as face and politeness found in this study could exemplify how both younger and older generations of Thai people interact to form and shape a closer relationship in their first encounters in contemporary Thai language. This study could shed some lights on cross-cultural studies of complimenting behaviors and politeness in similar contexts or in other contexts related to younger and older generations in aging societies (e.g., workplace contexts or senioreducation settings).

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4Topics of English Sentences in Expository and Narrative Proses

저자 : Hongmei Wu , Nirada Chitrakara

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Due to the fact that both the subject and the topic can occupy the initial position of the sentence, English subject is always deemed as the UNMARKED TOPIC (Lambrecht, 1994), while the topic is not always the subject. In accordance with Rizzi's (1997) topicalization, both the subject and the topicalized constituents can be topics. Many other languages are found to have multiple topics (Erteschik-Shir, 2007). This study agrees that more than one topic is possible in English. With respect to the order, it finds that the principle of end-weight, applies only to the DP subject topics, but not other preposed constituents. The preverbal constituents in the data abide by the topic-comment structure in general. Via the authentic data, we find that the subject topic is prominently DPs. Non-subject topics are PPs, CPs, adverbs, AdvPs, and DPs, among which PPs are prominent in expository texts while CPs are prevailing in narrative proses. The frequent appearance of the PPs is found to be the genre-effect that PPs are compact structures often used as the sentence opener to make the discourse coherent in expository texts. Meanwhile, the conspicuous occurrence of the CPs, inter alia, the control constructions, is due to the characteristics of the chronological linkage in narrative proses.

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5Promoting Critical Thinking Skills in an Online EFL Environment

저자 : Yuya Akatsuka

발행기관 : 범태평양 응용언어학회 간행물 : Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (Journal of PAAL ) 24권 2호 발행 연도 : 2020 페이지 : pp. 95-113 (19 pages)

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This study examined the effects of an approach that promotes EFL learners' critical thinking in an online EFL setting. Although recent studies have examined approaches to foster EFL learners' critical thinking, studies conducted in online settings are under-development. The participants were 31 Japanese undergraduate students enrolled in an online EFL course; their degree of critical thinking and resistance towards critical thinking were examined. First, the students' sense of classroom community was measured using the Rovai's Classroom Community Scale. Second, the frequency of using critical thinking in their English writing was observed adopting with Stapleton's rubric, and the resistance towards learning critical thinking was measured through a questionnaire. The results indicated that students could feel a sense of classroom community in online lessons as well as face-to-face settings, and improvements in critical thinking were found in students' writing regardless of the differences in their English proficiency level. A resistance towards tackling questions that required higher-order thinking was observed among low English proficiency level students compared to a face-to-face classroom setting. This study suggests that an online EFL course aiming to promote critical thinking reduce students' resistance offering both informal and formal interactive opportunities to answer questions involving higher-order thinking skills.

KCI등재

6The Effects of Differing Language Test Presentation Methods on EFL College Students' Listening Test Performance

저자 : Jinseon Koo , Eun-joo Lee

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This study investigates the effects that three different test presentation formats, i.e., written Korean, written English and aural English, have on EFL learners' listening comprehension. A total of 169 Korean college students participated in this study. The participants were divided into six groups, by three presentation format types and two proficiency levels. They were presented with multiple-choice English listening tests. The results of the study showed that listening questions using the written Korean presentation mode were the easiest for them, while the aural English options were the most challenging. The analysis showed that high and low proficiency level students performed differently on the listening tests. The high level students performed best in written Korean and written English test formats, and had the most trouble with aural English tests. Students of both proficiency levels performed measurably better with test options written in Korean as compared to the other two presentation modes. Results of the post-test survey showed that test options written in participants' L1 were most preferred by the students, while the aural English option was the least favorable test method. However, the participants considered the aural English test mode to be the most fair and appropriate method of assessing test-takers' listening comprehension abilities.

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